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Shri Datta Swami

Jnana Saraswati – Advanced Discourses


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IS REALITY A PROPERTY OF GOD, THE CAUSE, WHICH ENTERS CREATION, THE EFFECT, TO MAKE IT REAL?
Posted on: 16/03/2021

Śrī Bharath Krishna asked: Padanamaskaram Swamiji! You said that creation is real for all the souls as well as for God. Creation appears to be real because it has borrowed its real nature from its creator, the unimaginable God, who is absolutely real and who is the only truth. After learning this from You, I remembered sūtras 92-94 from the Parabrahma Sūtras composed by You. There You have explained the relationship between mud and the pot made out of it. In that example, the properties of the mud enter the pot. Likewise, can I say that the reality of this creation is a property obtained...

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APPLYING CAUSE-EFFECT RELATIONS TO GOD
Posted on: 08/03/2021

[Śrī Phani asked: Can we say that a cause-and-effect relationship (kārya-kāraṇa sambandha) exists between the following two cases (1) unimaginable God and an ordinary soul, (2) unimaginable God and a Human Incarnation of God?]

A Case of Limited Applicability

Swāmi replied: In the first case, we take the unimaginable God to be the cause and the imaginable soul to be the effect.

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TO WHAT EXTENT CAN WE CROSS MAAYAA, THE STRONG ILLUSION CREATED BY GOD?
Posted on: 16/02/2021

[This question is based on the discussion of some devotees on a discourse given by Swami in response to Kum. Mohini’s question about māyā, maha māyā and mūla māyā.

Śrī Anil Anthony asked: Swami, is mūla māyā itself the awareness of God?

Śrī J. S. R. Prasad asked: Is the term mahā māyā the same as that the concept explained in the Gītā as “Prakṛtiṃ svāmadhiṣṭhāya...

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DO BOTH IGNORANCE AND KNOWLEDGE LEAD TO DARKNESS?
Posted on: 13/02/2021

Śrī Balaji asked: Namaste Swami! Kindly explain the concepts of vidyā & avidyā, and asambhūti & sambhūti which occur in the Īṣāvāsya Upanishad. Following are some excerpts from the Upaniṣad:

andhaṃ tamaḥ praviśanti…vidyayāṃ ratāḥ

andham tamaḥ praviśanti…sambhutyām ratāḥ

Here, in both cases, it is said that those who are engaged in vidyā (knowledge) and in sambhūti (manifest) go into a greater darkness than those engaged in avidyā (ignorance) and asambhūti (unmanifest). In the subsequent hymns, the correct path...

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GOD AS THE CREATOR IN VEDANTA
Posted on: 18/01/2021

Dr. JSR Prasad asked: Svāmipādebhyaḥ sāṣṭāṅga praṇāmāḥ! Recently, on a social media platform, there was a discussion on the concept of the Creator and creation in Vedānta. A member had asked questions like “Is creation different from the Creator?”, “How did the Creator go about creating creation?” and so on. A few Advaita scholars replied that creation is not different from the Creator...

Swāmi replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! Why has spiritual knowledge become unpopular, even though it is the most important subject that helps all souls forever? The reason is that souls are not interested in reading the contents of spiritual philosophy. What is the reason for that? The only reason is that writers make the subject complicated and confusing because the writer himself...

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IS THE SOUL'S TINY AMOUNT OF INDEPENDENCE INSPITE OF ITS NEAR-TOTAL DEPENDENCE ON MATTER AND ENERGY, GOD'S MAAYAA?
Posted on: 16/12/2020

Śrī Phani asked: You have said that the soul, which is awarenesss, is the result of inert matter and inert energy. It means that it depends on inert matter and inert energy. Yet it is aware, which gives it some freedom to choose its action. That freedom is only 0.1% since the awareness depends on inert matter and inert energy. Its dependence is to an extent of 99.9%. As such the soul, which is a product of inert matter and inert energy should not be aware, and yet it somehow is aware and possesses that 0.1% freedom. Is that tiny freedom due to God’s māyā?]

Swāmi replied: As mentioned earlier, this 0.1% freedom is the effect of the unimaginable power of the unimaginable God. This means that God alone has given that little freedom to the soul or the individual soul. We must remember...

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CHIDAATMAA AND CHIDAABHAASA - PART-1 OF 4
Posted on: 10/11/2020

This is a long discourse, meant for readers interested in an elaborate logical analysis. It is related to an apparent limitation of Shri Datta Swami’s refutation of the currently-understood Advaita theory. In the section titled ‘The Advaitin’s Perspective’, Dr. Nikhil claims, on behalf of Advaitins that Swami, while refuting the currently-understood Advaita in His previous writings, has not taken into account the exact position of Advaitins on the relation between God and the soul. In the section ‘Introductory Points’, Swami begins with certain introductory points that are necessary to understand His detailed refutation. The section ‘Refutation of Misconceived Advaita’ consisting of 42 points is the actual detailed refutation of the currently-understood Advaita theory. In it, Swami addresses all the new objections raised by Dr. Nikhil. Finally, Swami concludes with 15 concluding points in the ‘Conclusions’ section, wherein it is evident that Swami’s refutation of the currently-understood Advaita and overall His philosophy prevail...

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CHIDAATMAA AND CHIDAABHAASA - PART-2 OF 4
Posted on: 10/11/2020

7. Self-contradicting claims: Are God and soul separate or one?

You have shifted your basic party itself when you began to face a lot of inconvenience, due to your misunderstood theory of monism. You have created a convenient theory by saying that God is not the soul because God and the soul are associated, like the real rope and the false snake. Of course, we are happy that you have recognized that the soul is part of the illusory world. At one end, you say that the soul is not God, just as the false snake is not the real rope. Then, why do you contradict yourself by claiming that the soul is God...

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CHIDAATMAA AND CHIDAABHAASA - PART-3 OF 4
Posted on: 10/11/2020

20. The body and its knower

In the Gītā, Kṛṣṇa told Arjuna that the body is called the kṣetram and the awareness in the body, which is the knower of the body, is called the kṣetrajña. After telling this to Arjuna, Kṛṣṇa said that He too is a Kṣetrajña (Kṣetrajñaṃ cā'pi mām...). Here, the words ‘ca’ and ‘api’ are used for double stress because each means ‘too’ or ‘also’. If Kṛṣṇa only had ordinary awareness like a human being, He need not have said that He too has awareness. This word ‘too’ with double stress means that He too does the function of awareness—which is the process of knowing—even though He is not awareness. This statement was made with reference to the absolute unimaginable God...

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CHIDAATMAA AND CHIDAABHAASA - PART-4 OF 4
Posted on: 10/11/2020

33. Unimaginable awareness is the awareness of the unimaginable God

The word ‘unimaginable awareness’ used above does not mean that the awareness is unimaginable. The word awareness is only taken in the sense of the action of thinking, which is done by the unimaginable God. It simply means that the unimaginable God did an action which is the process of thinking. There are only two items: (a) the unimaginable God as the subject or the doer and (b) the action of thinking done by the unimaginable God. Since the absolute God is unimaginable, He cannot be the imaginable relative awareness...

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PRANAMAYA KOSHA AS ENERGY
Posted on: 18/10/2020

Shri Nikhil asked: This question is with reference to the discussion on the five systems of the human being in the discourse titled “The Knowledge of the Embodied One”, dated July 06, 2020. Since the basic components of creation are inert energy, awareness and matter, will it not be better to have a place for inert energy in the discussion of the five systems of the human being (pañca kośa)? Since prāṇa also means life-energy, vitality or power...

Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! This is very good suggestion to create place for inert energy among the five systems of the human being (pañca kośas). That way, all the three basic components of creation—energy, matter and awareness—find their place in the five systems. In fact, energy is most important...

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THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE EMBODIED ONE
Posted on: 16/10/2020

Dr. Nikhil asked: Padanamaskarams Swamiji, I have been thinking about the term śārīraka in the context of Vedānta as described below. The essential question is: Does the term śārīraka in the context of Vedānta refer to the embodied God or the soul? Vedānta is the philosophy which is the climax or the essence of the Veda. The Prasthāna Traya are the three authoritative scriptures on Vedānta. These three scriptures are the Upaniṣads, the Vedānta Sūtras and the Bhagavad Gītā. Vedānta is also known by other names such as Uttara Mīmāṃsā and Śārīraka Mīmāṃsā. Similarly, the Vedānta Sūtras...

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IS GOD PRESENT IN EVERY SOUL?
Posted on: 22/07/2020

[Shri MRK Sai (hardware engineer, USA) asked: The Gītā says that all the items of this world are based on God just as the beads in a string of beads are strung together with the thread running through the centre of every bead. The Veda also says that God created this world and entered it. Scholars say that God entered this world as the awareness seen as souls. Hence, the soul is God or, at least, God is in the soul, like the thread in the string of beads.]

Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! You are saying that the soul or awareness is the God, who has entered this world after creating it. If this statement were correct, we should find awareness or the soul in all the items of the world. But awareness is confined only to animals or zoological living beings that are scattered here and there. Space exists in between two such living beings, but it does not contain awareness. If the soul or awareness were existing everywhere in the world like the thread in the string of beads...

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SHABDA BRAHMAN - SOUND AS GOD?
Posted on: 13/05/2020

Dr. Nikhil asked: Padanamaskarams Swamiji! In one of recent online satsangs among Your devotees, an interesting topic came up. It was related to the idea of the Veda being the manifestation of Śabda Brahman—God in the form of sound. The concept of Śabda Brahman is found in the Veda and the Gita (śabda-brahmaṇi niṣṇātaḥ paraṃ brahmādhigacchati—Maitra. Up.6.22; Śabda-brahmāti vartate—Gita VI.44). A concept similar to Śabda Brahman i.e. God in the form of sound (Word); is also seen in the Bible, where it is said “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.—John 1.1”. Given below are some of my thoughts on this topic. I request You to kindly correct me wherever I am wrong and enlighten me with a comprehensive correlation of this theory with Your philosophy...

Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! The Pūrva Mīmāṃsaka idea that sound produces some effects beyond what can be explained scientifically, is not at all valid. It does not matter even if the sound is the sound of the recitation of the Veda. Apart from the scientifically-explainable physical effects of sound, the sound of certain words may produce some effects in human beings, but such effects are based on the human beings...

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HOW CAN TIME BE DEFINED IN TERMS OF SPACE?
Posted on: 09/04/2020

[Advanced topic meant for intellectuals only] Dr. Nikhil asked: In Your answer to the question “Why did God create the universe through a very slow process of evolution?”, dated March 09, 2020, You have stated the following: “This picture also includes the fourth relative dimension, time, which gives the exact time in terms of distance, at which the accident took place.” Based on it, I would like to know how time can be defined in terms of distance (or space)? As per special relativity, space-time is one continuum and there is no concept of simultaneity. But it does not literally mean that time is defined in terms of space or length.

Swami replied: We hear older people in villages saying to youngsters “Why are you not rising from the bed? The time is now two full hands after sunrise” (Bāredu poddu ekkindi” in Telugu). What is the meaning of two full hands after sunrise? It means that the sun is at a height of two full hands from the point of sunrise (horizon), which is about 10 a.m. Here time is stated in terms of distance. After all, time on earth...

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NO CAUSE-EFFECT IN A CONTINUOUS PROCESS?
Posted on: 29/03/2020

[This is a conversation between Shri J. Prasad, Professor of Sanskrit, Central University, Hyderabad, Dr. Nikhil and Swami. It contains advanced concepts meant for scholars only.]

Dr. J. Prasad: A scholar is debating for the past three months with other scholars on verse 16.8 from the Gita. The second line of the verse is “Aparaspara-sambhūtām, kimanyat kāma haitukam”. Every commentator has interpreted this verse to be referring to a cause-effect relationship. However, this scholar is arguing that no cause-effect relationship is necessary in a continuous process. He quotes the grammarian, Pāṇini who has used the word ‘aparaspara’ with reference to a continuing process. Could You please clarify if all commentrators have erred in assuming a cause-effect relationship for a continuous process?

Swami: Does the scholar think that all the commentators like Śaṅkara had not read Pāṇini and that he is the only one, who has read the grammar of Pāṇini? Pāṇini came first. Thereafter, the commentators like Śaṅkara came second and the present scholar is the third. The knowledge of the first was already present with the second. The third has only come after the second. Pāṇini used this word aparaspara with reference to a continuous process (Avicchinna kriyā sāntatyam). You cannot say that the concept...

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AUTHORITIES FOR KNOWING GOD
Posted on: 21/11/2019

This mahā satsaṅga is meant for intellectuals who are familiar with logic.

Dr. Nikhil asked: Once, in a discussion on the use of logic in spirituality, You used the word ‘deduction’ to refer to direct knowledge obtained through perception. You also used the word ‘induction’ to refer to indirect knowledge obtained through inference. But, as per western philosophy, the meanings of the two terms are somewhat different. Deduction involves going from general rules or laws to specific conclusions...

Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! Firstly, you must understand that perception exists even in inference. In fact, perception exists in all the six authorities (pramāṇas) of knowledge discussed in Indian philosophy. This includes even the authority called ‘non-recognition’ (anupalabdhi). For instance, the statement that no pot exists here, is based on the lack of perception of the pot. This shows that ‘non-recognition’ is based on perception...

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WHEN GOD IS UNIMAGINABLE, HOW CAN WE SAY THAT GOD PERVADES ONLY THE AWARENESS OF THE INCARNATION AND NOT THE BODY?
Posted on: 27/08/2019

Swami replied: When the God who pervades the awareness or the body of the Incarnation, is unimaginable, even the mechanism of His pervasion is unimaginable. We are only assuming a certain mechanism of pervasion as if God is a finite imaginable item. Such assumptions are made to explain deep philosophical concepts to people in a manner that is easy to understand. We are not actually sure whether God pervades the awareness (energy) or the body (matter) since we cannot directly perceive the unimaginable God. But, based on what we perceive, we are making inferences regarding the mechanism of pervasion, assuming the pervasion to be an imaginable process. When Krishna lifted the huge hill on His tender little finger, we infer that the unimaginable God...

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WHEN ISVARA IS NOT ALL-PERVADING, HOW CAN HE BE SAID TO POSSESS THE WORLD AS HIS EXTERNAL BODY?
Posted on: 27/08/2019

Shri Anil asked: In the context of Śrī Rāmānuja’s Viśiṣṭādvaita philosophy, You have said that creation is the external body of Īśvara. But You have also rejected the idea that God is all-pervading. Could You kindly resolve the seeming contradiction?

Swami replied: If you are in your house, you do not pervade all over your house. Similarly, the soul, which is main seat of awareness, exists in the body. But it does not pervade all over the body. At any given time, the sun is at one place in the sky. Only its light pervades all over the sky and earth. The lamp is located at one place in the room and only its light pervades all over the room. The soul, which is the main seat of awareness, lies in the body. But some general awareness pervades all over the body. This concept was well-explained by Rāmānuja. All the above examples are imaginable. The unimaginable God need not pervade all over the world in a physical...

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WORLDLY AND DIVINE ILLUSIONS
Posted on: 13/08/2019

Shri Buchholz asked: Is it true that God wants this world to run peacefully? Every thing happens after God’s almighty will. Therefore, things are exactly as God wants them to be. Mokṣa is just liberation from the world of māyā—not from the will of God! In the Śāṇḍilya Upaniṣad (Chapter 3), it is said that Maheśvara, who is black and yellow, reigns with avidyā, mūla prakṛti or Māyā, who is red and black and who coexists with Him. So, Mahāmāyā is a higher form of Pārvatī! It solves māyā up.

Swami replied: The unimaginable God (Parabrahman) becomes the first energetic Incarnation, called Īśvara through mediation, which means, by merging with the first created energetic body. Mahāmāyā is the unimaginable power of the non-mediated Parabrahman. The same unimaginable power or mahāmāyā exists with Īśvara and is called as māyā. Parabrahman and Īśvara are one and the same, after all. Similarly, mahāmāyā and māyā are also one and the same. The difference is only in the possessor of the power in the sense that the non-mediated God, Parabrahman, is unimaginable and invisible...

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